Open Issues in European Central Banking


open issuesSince 1 January 1999, monetary policy for 11 member countries of the EU is determined by the Eurosystem which consists of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the National Central Banks (NCB) of the countries in the Eurozone. Is this sufficient to enable European Monetary Union to succeed? A number of important issues remain unresolved so far: – what are the roles of the components of this system (the ECB and the NCBs)? – who is in charge? – who is responsible for finance stability? – how can the system be accountable? – how should one distribute central bank profits (seigniorage)? The authors’ analysis suggests that the centre of this system, the ECB, has not yet been given sufficient power or resources to become a full central bank and that, in addition, the responsibility for financial stability has not been clearly defined. They propose concrete solutions to these and other problems.


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